Wednesday, May 21, 2014

One-Sweep Shadows, Part 2: Something Different

Hello all!

Yesterday I did a post about one-sweep shadows - shadows that you can just sweep across your lid and go - in hues of brown and beige. I know when I reach for something early in the morning on those days where I don't have time to play around with much makeup, I usually pick up the same taupey-brown shades. But sometimes I get bored with the same-old same-old, so I also have a few shades in my rotation that look great on their own as all-over colour but also add a bit of variety to the lazy morning makeup routine.

Bottom to Top: Nougat, Stash, Pétale De Glace, Knight Divine

1. B. Cosmetics B. Vivid Eyeshadow in Nougat (£4.99): This olive-gold is an extremely subtle eyeshadow that looks beautiful if you're going for a bold lip. The above swatch is quite heavy-handed, so know that you can sheer this one out or build it up as you so desire. The B. line is exclusive to Superdrug and has lots of other great nude and earth-tone shades that would work well as one-sweep shadows

2. Urban Decay 24/7 Glide-On Eye Pencil in Stash (£15.00/C$24.00/US$20.00): So I cheated a bit on this one, because it's not actually an eyeshadow but an eyeliner. However, I love colouring my eyelids with this gorgeous khaki shimmer and sheering it out for low maintenance and long-lasting colour. Bring it under your eyes and smudge it out to complete the quick and easy look! 

3. Bourjois Colour Edition 24 Hr Eyeshadow in 03 Pétale de Glace (£6.99): For days when you want something soft and feminine, reach for this icy rose cream eyeshadow. It has great staying power and a formula that turns from cream to powder upon contact. The hint of shimmer and colour is an instant eye-brightener.

4. MAC Knight Divine (£12.50/C$17.00/US$14.00): For days where I want a little more drama, I love using a dark grey eyeshadow, sheering it out over my lid then contouring in the crease with a heavier hand. The soft shimmer and blue-toned grey of this shadow make my eyes pop and give some smokiness without taking up the time a smoky eye would.

What colours work for you as one-sweep shadows?

xo hannah  

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

One-Sweep Shadows, Part 1: Browns & Bronzes

Hello friends!

Some days I like to spend a lot of time on my makeup, playing with different colours and looks. However, on days where I'm destined for a long haul at the library or am strapped for time, I like to use eyeshadows that can be swept over the entire lid so that I can look polished without fiddling about with contouring and blending.

This post will be in two parts: firstly, the browns and bronzes that tend to be the go-to shade for one sweep shadows, and secondly, some colours that may be a bit out of the ordinary but still look amazing.

I have blue eyes, so I find that shimmery browny taupes and bronzes can really make my eyes pop without putting in too much effort. Some of my all-time favourites are the MAC classics - Woodwinked, Satin Taupe, and Mulch to name a few - but they have been blogged about to death, so I've decided to show you a few browns and bronzes that don't always get the air time they deserve!

Bottom to Top: Aubersheen, Koala, On and On Bronze, Antiqued

1. Soap and Glory's Aubersheen (£10.00 for the quad): This shade is part of Soap and Glory's What's Nude quad, which is a great budget option for a quality neutral pallette. This metallic taupey-brown  is a universally flattering shade that looks natural but still adds that dimension to your eyes. The formula is finely-milled, soft, and long-lasting.

2. Fyrinnae's Koala (US$6.25 for full, $2.25 for mini): Described as a "rosy taupe" with a Satin finish, this loose pigment eyeshadow from the indie brand Fyrinnae packs a crazy-good colour payoff with the smallest amount of product. Fyrinnae's eyeshadows are known for having great dimension, and this one is no exception. It almost contours by itself! Grab a mini and try it won't regret it!

3. Maybelline 24 Hour Colour Tattoo in On and On Bronze (£4.99/C$8.99/US$6.99): Maybelline Colour Tattoo Cream Eyeshadows have been lauded by just about every beauty blogger in town, and for good reason: they last all day and are beautifully pigmented. On and On Bronze (Bad to the Bronze in North America) is a gorgeous bronze-gold that can be quickly applied with your finger tips and still manages to look fantastic! For the price point, you can't go wrong.

4. MAC Antiqued (£12.50/C$17.00/US$14.00): Antiqued has been in my collection forever, and I will always have this shade on hand because I think it's a stunning choice for blue eyes. It's an orange-toned copper that can be sheered out or packed on for a colour that is vibrant without being too in-your-face. I think this is one of MAC's unsung heroes!

 What browns/bronzes do you reach for on your lazy days?

xo hannah 

Monday, May 19, 2014

Current Haircare Favourites


Today was the first day I've styled my hair in ages...the sun has made me a bit lazy I'm afraid! I got to reacquaint myself with some old friends, as well as my favourite everyday post-wash products. I thought I would give you a rundown on my top five haircare favourites right now.

Up first are my two everyday products which I always pull out of my drawer every time I wash my hair. Herbal Essences Beautiful Ends Split End Protection Cream (£4.79) is a product I've never seen in North America, but something I will definitely have to stock up on before I leave the UK. It is a leave in conditioner that is meant to protect from split ends and breakage. It makes my hair smell like raspberries and leaves it feeling incredibly soft and silky. It also lasts forever, as all you need is one pump to distribute through your hair. I've noticed a difference in the health of my hair since starting to use this product.

My second every day product is the Haus of Gloi Hair Oil in "Imp" (US$12.00). These hand-formulated hair oils from my favourite indie bath and body company contain a mixture of beneficial oils and can be scented with any of the general scents from their catalogue, as well as limited edition and seasonal scents. I usually use about 4 drops and distribute it through the lower half of my hair, paying special attention to my ends. I don't find that this product makes my hair greasy, and I love that I can choose the scents!

I have also chosen three styling products that I don't use every day, but that I often reach for when I am styling my hair. The first is the got2b Beach Matt Mermaid Look Texturizing Salt Spray (£3.99/US$5.99). This salt spray is one of the best I've tried. It gives you beautiful beachy curls and is super easy to use: just spray as much as you want on wet hair, scrunch it, and go. I like that it never makes your hair feel crunchy as some salt sprays do, so you can spray to your heart's content.

Another got2b product that I constantly use whenever I heat style my hair is my got2b Guardian Angel Gloss Finish Flat Iron Balm ( £3.99/U$S5.99). It's called a balm, but it really is a spray that protects up to 425F and smells lovely to boot. I really like the fact that the spray nozzle is designed so that the product doesn't squirt in one stream onto your hair, but comes out in a mist so that you don't miss any areas. Note that the bottle is black in the UK!

Lastly, a recent find that I am totally in love with. Beauty bloggers were raving about the Charles Worthington Volume & Bounce Texturizing Spray (£6.99), so I decided to give it a try. I have brutal luck with "volume" products because I have such bottom heavy hair that gravity just pulls everything down. I also have a super strong middle part that refuses teasing and backcombing efforts. This spray has made all the difference. One spray and a ruffle with my fingers provides instant volume and the promised "backcomb effect" that is listed on the can. It lasts forever as well, so you can keep fluffing your hair throughout the day. Volume challenged girls, this one is for you.

What's in your hair care arsenal these days?

xo hannah

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Making Orange Lips Work

Hello friends!

I've been seeing orange lips everywhere seems as this vibrant hue is the "it colour" of the spring and summer seasons. Obviously, orange is not the easiest (or most practical) colour to pull off...luckily, if you aren't quite brave enough to rock that bright true orange, then orange's little sister coral might be more up your alley, and will still give you the same summery pop of colour!

I've put together a gradient of oranges, starting with a barely there coral to a full-blown orange/red. One is bound to work for you!

Left to Right: Bourjois Rouge Buzz, Too Faced Coral Fire, Body Shop 110 Coral Blush, NYX Peach Cobbler

Bottom to Top: Bourjois Rouge Buzz, Too Faced Coral Fire, Body Shop 110 Coral Blush, NYX Peach Cobbler

For an everyday coral flush: If you're looking for a sweet hint of orange that's appropriate for day time wear, look no further than The Body Shop's Colour Crush Lipstick in 110 Coral Blush (£10.00/C$13.00). This formula applies beautifully, feels hydrating on the lips, has a lovely faint rose scent, and won't break the bank! This leans more orange than pink, unlike some corals. A stunning choice for those who want to dabble in the orange trend without going full-out.

For those looking for a little more oomph: If I'm looking for a juicy, vibrant coral, I immediately go for my Too Faced La Creme Lipstick in "Coral Fire" (£18.00/C$26.00/US$22.00). It reminds me of ripe papayas, and gives an amazing shine and pop of colour. This is my all time favourite lipstick is astonishingly creamy and glossy.

For those who prefer a gloss: My favourite orangey/coral gloss this season is the beauty blogger favourite, NYX Butter Gloss in "Peach Cobbler."(£5.00/US$5.00) These are non-sticky, emollient glosses with great colour pay off, a yummy candy scent, and a buttery texture. For those who want shine with their colour, I can guarantee the shine factor is off the charts. It's summer in gloss form!

For those who go bold or go home: When I went on a hunt for a true orange - and I did a lot of hunting, I can tell you that - the colour I ultimately chose was Bourjois Rouge Edition Lipstick in 10 "Rouge Buzz" (£7.99). It's dubbed a red-orange, but for me it pulls totally orange, and it's such a gorgeous showstopper! This isn't the creamiest formula, but what you lack in hydration you get back in long-lasting colour. I can't wait to play with this in the summer.

Obsessed with Bourjois' bright orange!

Will you be debuting an orange lip this spring?

xo hannah

Monday, May 12, 2014

How to Fake "Awake"

Hello lovelies!

As classes and early mornings resume, I have been waking up more often than not with tired, red eyes and dark circles. Luckily, I have a few products in my arsenal that work wonders for brightening up the eyes and making you look awake. It's foolproof!

First step: Concealing those dark circles. I've found that concealers that have been developed specifically for the under-eye area work the best, because they are usually formulated in the pinker/peachier tones that counteract darkness. I'm fond of these shades because they look much more natural than my regular concealers, which tend to look too pale and stark around my eyes. My all-time favourite undereye concealer is Pixi Correction Concentrate Concealer in "Brightening Peach," (£12.00/US$12.00) which is a peachy-salmon shade that blends beautifully into the eye area. It's creamy and long lasting, and when finished off with a swipe of translucent powder, doesn't crease. Another product that I've been getting a lot of use out of is the L'Oreal Lumi Magique Highlighting Pen in "2-Medium" (£8.49) Following in the footsteps of the cult favourite YSL Touche Éclat, this highlighting pen doesn't cover up as much as brighten, instantly opening your eyes when blended. Used together, they make the perfect dark-circle combatting duo.

Second Step: Curling the Lashes. Curling your eyelashes is a simple trick that really opens up your eyes. I use the Vintage Cosmetic Company Lash Curler (£7.00), which is a cheap but effective alternative to some of the more pricey tools (do your research though...not all curlers are made equal!) Follow with a swipe of mascara for eyes that look more alert. 

Third Step: Brightening your eyelids. I find that shimmery champagne shades are the absolute best when I feel like my eyes need a pick-me-up. My favourites are Urban Decay "Easy Baked" (£14.00/C$22.00/US $18.00) and MAC Paint Pot in "Bare Study" (£13.50/C$24.00/US$17.50) As well as being super low maintenance - just a wash of one of these across the eyelid is all that's required - they also do wonders for brightening your eye area. Finish with a swipe of a jewel-toned eyeliner. I like Tarina Tarantino Eye Dream Hyperliner in "Cute Robot" (US$15.00), which is a metallic navy blue. I find navy shades especially effective, as they emphasize the whites of your eyes and counteract redness.

From Bottom to Top: UD Easy Baked, MAC Bare Study, Tarina Tarantino Cute Robot

Fourth Step: Illuminate. I like to illuminate my cheekbones in a c-formation, so that my eyes are framed by glowing, healthy looking skin. I've been using Tarte Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Illuminating Serum for ages, and I like it because it can be mixed in with foundation or used by itself for a subtle and natural (not shimmery!) glow. I believe this product might have been discontinued in favour of the illuminating BB cream, which retails for US$34.00. 

What's your routine for faking an awake look?

xo hannah 

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

April Empties!

Hello everyone!

I have four products that I used up this past month, so I figured I would share them with you and provide mini reviews of my experiences with them. This will be a happy post, because I loved everything that I finished this month!

The first empty is a hair product, James Brown Detangle Leave-In Conditioner ( £6.99 at Boots). Detanglers can be tricky things...the particularly effective ones are often loaded with silicone, stripping hair of its oils. However, this product managed to detangle my hair successfully without making my hair greasy or lifeless. It has a faint, pleasant nutty scent that doesn't linger (perhaps a by-product of the Kukui Nut oil that features as a main ingredient), and it's water-like texture makes it easy to spray. I found that the lightweight nature of this spray meant that I could use as much as I needed without overloading my hair. I bought it mainly as a detangler, and can't say much about it's efficacy as a leave-in conditioner, but if you have stubborn tangles like I do then this is a worthy investment. It's definitely the best thing I've tried from the James Brown line, which I haven't had much luck with in the past (I'm looking at you, Photo Fabulous Intense Gloss Rescue...ugh). This product might give me some renewed faith in this brand.

I finished two body scrubs this month. Because I am super picky with my body scrubs (I like to use something with a little more scrub power on my lower body and a gentler pick on my upper body), I usually buy trial sizes if they're available before I invest in a full size one. The first trial size scrub I picked up was The Body Shop Pink Grapefruit Body Scrub-Gelee (£5.00, £12.50 for full size). This looked a bit wishy washy in the tub, but I couldn't resist the scent...I think pink grapefruit is one of The Body Shop's most unique, refreshing, and non-artificial scents and I've always been a fan. However, my doubts about this scrub dissipated as soon as I used it. The gelly texture makes it easy to distribute over your arms and legs, as you aren't stuck working a clump of product over your skin and losing half of it down the drain. Once it's spread, the granules come out full force and do an excellent scrub job. I'll definitely repurchase this.

The second body scrub was the Soap & Glory Scrub 'Em and Leave 'Em Body Buff  (£2.50, £8.00 for full size). This one was really effective for my lower body, as it was a heavier scrub with fine but powerful granules that had excellent buffing power. It has a much more "sandy/gritty" texture than the Body Shop scrub, or indeed some of the other Soap & Glory scrubs, so you can really get good results with a dollop of this and some pressure. The scrub is scented with the Mist You Madly Soap & Glory Fragrance, which has notes of mandarin, bergamot, blackcurrant, magnolia, freesia, patchouli, and sandlewood (whew!). It made a nice change from the usual fruity scrubs I choose, and smelled luxurious without being overpowering. This is another one I will definitely buy again.

Lastly, I am on the last legs of a moisturizer that I've had on the go for quite a while, Haus of Gloi's Zazz Pumpkin Butter (US$10.00). I absolutely adore Haus of Gloi, a handmade vegan bath and body brand located in Oregon, USA. Their pumpkin butters (so named because of the pumpkin oil ingredient, not because of a pumpkin scent) are rich and non-greasy, as moisturizing as the cult favourite Body Shop Body Butters without being so thick. They have a massive general catalogue, but this particular scent is a Summer Release from last year (which should be coming around again this month, so keep your eye out!) Zazz is "tart cranberry, pink grapefruit, sparkling champagne, and crushed ginger root," and its a scent that tickles your nose and wakes you up with its zesty fragrance. It reminds me of a cranberry-ginger ale cocktail, and I absolutely love it. For the price of these products, not to mention their lovely ingredients and cute packaging, I would say these are the best body moisturizers around. You can order them from 

Haus of Gloi Pumpkin Butter

That's it for my empties! What did you finish this month?

xo hannah 

Thursday, May 1, 2014

MAC Alluring Aquatic

Hello lovelies!

I just had a serious MAC Moment.

As with any good beauty addict, I tend to stalk MAC news and am well aware of all the incoming collections (and their release dates). So imagine my surprise when I walked by Debenhams today and saw a window display for the Alluring Aquatic Collection. Obviously, I ran inside and promptly started fangirling over this collection and its packaging.

 Why has it already been released in the UK when it just showed up on Temptalia an hour ago, and is registered to hit North America mid-May? I don't know, but I'm not complaining. I picked up two products, which I've shown below.

MAC Alluring Aquatic

Left: Cremesheen Lipstick in "Mystical", Right: Extra Dimension Eye Shadow in Sea Worship

After I recovered from the excitement induced by this sneak-attack MAC Collection, I started trying everything. This is a fairly substantial collection with six face products, six eyeshadows, five lipsticks and lipglasses, two eye liners, three nail varnishes, and two brushes. The colours range from beautiful sea shell nudes to deep violets. Beware all matte lovers: this is a shimmery collection. Think the sun hitting the ocean. Sparkle and iridescence galore. Even more impressive, especially considering this is a MAC collection, is that there are only a few repromotes. It's a goldmine for new products!

The packaging is a stunning metallic teal with textured raised bubbles. They hit the nail on this one! Even the names are gorgeous. Lorelei, Goddess of the Sea, Aphrodite's still my heart!

I love the buttery formula of the extra dimension eyeshadows, so I picked up Sea Worship. Sea Worship is a burnished golden olive, and the colour pay off and texture are superb. Most of the other shadows in this collection had a lot of glitter, but the glitter in this one is toned down, making it a lovely iridescent shade that catches the light. It retails for £16.50/C$22.50/US$19.50.

MAC Sea Worship

The lipstick range leaned towards nudes, but of the two brighter shades I picked up Mystical, which is a muted rose cremesheen. I think I have stumbled across my new "My Lips But Better" shade. I can see this looking flattering on quite a few skintones. The formula is typical cremesheen...its moisturizing without being slippery and sliding everywhere. So creamy and versatile...and though I hate to admit it,  just made better by the packaging! It retails for £16.50/C$21.00/US$17.50

MAC Mystical

UK readers, can we just take a moment to squeal in excitement about how this got here so fast!

Even though I really didn't need more products (I have the MAC x Proenza Schouler ombre blush and lipstick waiting for me back in Canada), this packaging was simply too beautiful to pass up, and I'm so happy the products delivered.

What will you be picking up from this collection? Anyone as excited as I am about MAC pulling off some decent packaging (without tacky decals) for once?

xo hannah